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Nebraska State Fire Marshal

Christopher Cantrell, State Fire Marshal

Public Display Operators

What do I need to do to become a Public Display Operator?

You must be at least 18 years old, submit a completed application, and take a test administered by State Fire Marshal personnel.


How long is a license valid?

A license is valid for three (3) years. Licenses expire the last day of the month in which it was issued.


Can I just come and take the test whenever I want?

No. The test is given at regularly scheduled times – the third Tuesday of each month and at Fire School in May. The monthly test alternates between Lincoln, North Platte, Omaha, and Albion. Refer to the 2021 Fireworks Display Operator Test Schedule for the actual dates and locations.  Applications must be mailed at least 5 working days prior to the test date. Failure to do so may delay your taking the test until the next month.

*Please note, there have been changes to the Public Display Operator’s test.  Click on this link for more information.

**For those of you planning to attend testing for firework display operators, please wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose. We ask that if you are feeling ill or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, please don't come to the testing site. You can call the office to reschedule. To ensure your health and safety, we've implemented the following precautions:

  • Practicing social distancing
  • Limiting groups of testers
  • Sanitizing test stations and
  • Providing wipes/hand sanitizer for your use

If you have any questions regarding dates, rescheduling, or agency policies, please call (402) 471-2027 and ask for Aliana.


Do you accept licenses from other states?



Is there any cost for the license?

No, there is no charge for a Public Display Operator’s license.


Why do I need a license to shoot fireworks?

State Fire Marshal regulations requires any public display where Class B fireworks will be shot to be supervised by a licensed Public Display Operator. If Class C (consumer) fireworks, those that are bought at retail stands, are being shot it is not necessary to have a license.


Does everyone involved in putting on a public display need to be licensed?

No. There only needs to be one licensed Public Display Operator present and supervising the display. The Display Operator who is to be supervising the display is the person that was listed as the Public Display Operator on the Public Firework Display permit.


Where can I get training on shooting fireworks?

The State Fire Marshal’s Office does not provide training. Contact a firework distributor to find out if they provide training or know where you can receive training.